Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park was created by an act of Congress in 1899. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building access roads into the park in 1904, completing the first road to Paradise Valley in 1910. The engineers followed the natural terrain as closely as possible, winding the roadway in graceful curves to provide gentle grades and outstanding views.

New crowds of visitors arrived in their own vehicles while others toured the park in fleets of open-topped buses. Visitors could stay in rustic hotels like the Paradise Inn, spend the night in cabins, or camp at public campgrounds. The National Park Service built additional roads over the next several decades, but sought to limit the impact of road development through sensitive design and careful planning.

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